§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if he will state the terms of reference given to local branches of his Department for the issue of work vouchers to Commonwealth citizens and work permits to aliens to illustrate the differences between the two forms of entry.
§ Mr. Bryan
The instructions given to the local offices of my Department for dealing with applications for Category A employment vouchers for Commonwealth citizens and work permits for aliens are similar in the following respects:
- (a) the wages and conditions of employment offered must not be less favourable than those accorded to British workers for similar work in the area;
- (b) the Department must be satisfied that the employer has made reasonable efforts to fill the vacancy from among suitable persons resident in the United Kingdom.
The main differences are:
- (a) vouchers, which are for permanent settlement, are always issued centrally from the Headquarters of the Department whereas, in
96 some cases, work permits for a period of up to 12 months may be issued by Local Offices.
- (b) for applications made on behalf of citizens of Malta and the dependent territories the availability of labour in this country is not taken into account;
- (c) the age limits for voucher holders are normally 16 to 60 years and for permit holders 18 to 54.
Local offices do not, of course, deal with Category B vouchers for which application is made direct by Commonwealth citizens to headquarters.